You’ve finally decided to invest in an espresso machine. Now, you’re faced with the troubling task of figuring out whether to purchase a semi-automatic espresso machine or a super-automatic espresso machine. What’s the difference between the two? Which one is the better option? Fear not – we’ll clear everything up, so you can decide which machine type is the right one for you.
Semi- Automatic Espresso Machines
Invented by the Italian barista Gaggia, semi-automatic machines first appeared in the 1940s. These machines come equipped with an electric pump, which ensures that the pressure is produced at 8 to 9 atmospheres, the ideal level for producing authentic espresso.
Semi-automatic machines are the most popular choice for consumers. Aside from the pump, these machines also feature a portafilter, boiler and a switch to power the pump. A water reservoir is also included, so you won’t have to refill the machine every time you brew a shot.
As its name suggests, there will be some manual steps required by the barista. For instance, you’ll need to grind your own coffee and tamp to ensure that it fits properly in the portafilter. You’ll also need to attach the portafilter to the machine, and turn the machine on.
The great thing about semi-automatic machines is that they’re very user-friendly. They may require a few extra manual steps, but they’re easy to use and can brew up authentic espresso right in your home kitchen.
Super-Automatic Espresso Machines
Super-automatic machines are – well – super. They do everything for you. These machines come at a much higher price, but they’re the ideal choice for anyone who enjoys the convenience of being able to brew up espresso in just a few short minutes.
What makes these machines “super”?
Well, they include all of the same basic components that semi-automatic machines offer. But they also have a built-in automatic brewing system with a burr grinder. From grinding to brewing, these machines do it all.
Simply turn the machine on, and it will get to work grinding just the right amount of coffee beans to the appropriate consistency. It will even take care of the tamping for you, and ensure that it extracts just the right amount of coffee.
An integrated, sophisticated computer system monitors and fulfills all of these tasks, so all you have to do is literally press a button to turn the machine on.
Super-automatic machines are loaded with features that add convenience and allow you to customize your brew. From strength to the fineness of the grind, you can control most aspects of the brewing process. Some machine even offer automatic steaming and frothing options, which allow you to quickly and easily brew up cappuccinos, lattes and other coffeehouse drinks.
Which Machine Type Is Best?
When faced with the choice between a semi-automatic and super-automatic machine, there are two important things you need to consider: what you want from your machine, and which features are most important? If you enjoy the idea of convenient, hands-off brewing, a super-automatic machine is the best choice for you. If you don’t mind doing a little manual work yourself and would like a little more control over the consistency and size of the brew, a semi-automatic machine may be the better choice for you.